This week I learned a lesson that will not easily be forgotten. I'm not sure if I already told all of you that Bryan Borst got baptized on saturday by Elder Layton and then yesterday I had the special opportunity to confirm him. Now, whenever I have given blessings or anything of the sort in the past I have always prayed to be given the words to speak during the blessing and I feel like the spirit has always been there to help my thoughts and words run together beautifully. But saturday night my stomach was bothering me pretty bad and that was all I was able to focus on before I went to bed, so when it came time to say a prayer before I went to bed I made it rather quick and forgot to mention the help I would need the next day to give that blessing to Bryan. The same thing happened the next morning as my stomach was still hurting and I was too selfish to really think about what would be going on later that day. I'm sad to say that I didn't truly realize what I was going to be doing until they announced it in sacrament meeting. At that point it was too late to offer much of a prayer, but I still said a prayer in my heart that even though I neglected the responsibility that I had to prepare through prayer and study, that I would still have the words given to me that I needed to speak. I then confirmed him and blessed him and I did feel that throughout the blessing my thoughts were very jumbled but I still felt the Spirit tell me something like this: "don't worry, I can still work through you to get my message across." This was a special time to me where I felt the atonement of Jesus Christ lift me above my previous selfish behavior. Even though it was a minor wrongdoing which some may say wasn't a wrongdoing at all, I felt as though Christ himself was teaching me the importance of never looking inward even when things hurt and He also taught me that there is power in prayer and that through speaking with my Heavenly Father I could have been more prepared for that sacred blessing. Now, that same day, I gained a testimony yet again of how aware God is of us and our feelings. After Church I talked with my companion about how he prepares for blessings and how he recognizes the spirit as he is giving them. He gave me some advice and then in my own mind I thought "well how will I be able to tell when my blessings are given strictly by the spirit and not my thoughts?" Literally 2 minutes later we ran into a member who was struggling in their life and they asked Elder Layton to give them a blessing. After that blessing I realized that I wanted to prepare now, and everyday, for the next blessing I would give. That night we stopped by a Less Active member who we felt we needed to offer a blessing to. She asked if I could act as voice and so I did and I felt as if the windows of heaven opened up and shouted at me words that I should speak. I have no doubt that this was Heavenly Fathers way of telling me that all I need to do is have faith and simply expect the spirit to tell me what to say as long as I am worthy. I recognized that God loves each one of us and He gives freely opportunities to grow if we search for them. Often times the hardest part of growth is just asking for those opportunities.
Something else that I realized this week was simply that Satan is trying so hard right now to tear everyone apart. I have never seen so many broken homes and broken families as I have in the last month. I feel like every other house we go to I end up walking out and saying "holy cow, there is so much that is missing and broken in that family, how does that happen?" I have grown to love random people that we run into so much more as I have come to realize that any bad or dark situation they are in is only because they fell into something satan threw their way and now it is my calling to bring them a solution to any and all problems as long as they are willing. Please don't let Satan get you down or tell you that you aren't worth it. One of his biggest lies is that we, in some way, aren't worth anyone's time, especially God's. Stay strong and recognize that YOU are God's child and He Loves You.
Well, that's all I got. If it doesn't make sense.... sorry.
Love you all!
Love, Elder Cluff